South Korea’s National Pension Service (NPS), one of the world’s largest pension funds, made a substantial investment in Coinbase during the third quarter of 2023. According to a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 15, the NPS acquired 282,673 shares of the global cryptocurrency exchange.
The investment, valued at $27.7 million based on Coinbase’s closing price of $98.15 on November 15, has appreciated by 39% since the purchase. The NPS reportedly obtained the Coinbase shares for approximately $19.9 million, resulting in an estimated profit of $7 million.
This marks the first time that South Korea’s public pension fund has invested in Coinbase stock. The NPS has traditionally refrained from direct investments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin due to perceived volatility.
In 2021, the National Assembly of South Korea criticized the NPS for investing in a crypto-related business. In response, the pension fund clarified that its investment was limited to the exchange, and cryptocurrencies were not a direct investment target.
Coinbase’s stock has experienced significant growth in 2023, reaching as high as $110 per share in July. Year-to-date, Coinbase shares have gained nearly 170%, starting the year at around $37. Despite a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in June 2023, alleging violations of securities laws, Coinbase has seen substantial growth. The lawsuit claimed that Coinbase offered unregistered securities on its platform. In October, Coinbase contested the SEC’s authority in the crypto space, arguing that the regulatory body’s definition of securities was too broad.